Climate change could disturb marine life for millennia



Climate change may lead to disturbances in marine life that will take thousands of years to recover from, not hundreds of years as previously thought, researchers said Monday.

The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is based on a section of fossilized ocean fauna found on the seafloor off the coast of California dating to between 3,400 and 16,100 years ago.

Researchers sliced up the sediment like a cake for a before-and-after glimpse of how creatures were affected by climate change during the last major deglaciation, when polar ice caps melted abruptly and low oxygen zones expanded in the ocean.

Ice melt and ocean dead zones are an increasing concern today, as scientists study the warming planet and trends that are driven by the burning of fossil fuels that send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Researchers analyzed more than 5,400 invertebrate fossils, such as sea urchins and clams, and found that they “nearly disappeared from the record during those times of low oxygen,” according to the study.

Levels of oxygen in the ocean dropped by between 0.5 and 1.5 milliliters per liter over a period of less than 100 years, a relatively minor changes that resulted in “dramatic changes and reorganizations for seafloor communities,” the study said.

Climate change in the future could have similar effects, and could take a similar time scale for ocean life to rebound, on the order of thousands, not hundreds of years, the researchers said.

“There’s not a recovery we have to look forward to in my lifetime or my grandchildren’s lifetime,” said lead author Sarah Moffitt, a scientist from the Bodega Marine Laboratory and Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute at the University of California, Davis.

“It’s a gritty reality we need to face as scientists and people who care about the natural world and who make decisions about the natural world.”



Agence France-Presse is a global news agency delivering fast, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from wars and conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology.

  • Vocsman

    does this rationing include domestic consumers?

    • Jjoyunga


  • John

    First KPLC rips you off with unexplained high bills in the last 2 months and to add insult to injury, ration the power. KPLC need a competitor then only will they decide to pull up their dirty socks.

  • Past experience shows that the actual rationing will be more severe than advertised. Its amazing that after all these years, Kenya Power hasn’t learnt a single lesson and we continue to suffer rationing in this day and age. What a national shame!

  • Pkariuki

    For sure it is time we showed these Kenya Power folk we don’t really need them that much – and for sure we DO NOT! Take for instance, you can use a solar lantern for lighting in your home. The are affordable and are charged purely by the sun. They are bright, durable and safe! Visit and see what i mean.

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